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Let him, &c.

He that will not merry, merry be,
And take his glass in course,
May he be obliged to drink small beer,
Ne'er a penny in his purse.
Let him, &c.

He that will not merry, merry be,
With a company of jolly boys;
May he be plagued with a scolding wife,
To confound him with her noise.
Let him, &c.

[He that will not merry, merry be,
With his sweetheart by his side,
Let him be laid in the cold churchyard,
With a head-stone for his bride.
Let him, &c.]


[THIS ditty, still occasionally heard in the country districts,
seems to be the original of the very beautiful song, THE DOWNHILL
OF LIFE. THE OLD MAN'S SONG may be found in Playford's THEATRE OF
MUSIC, 1685; but we are inclined to refer it to an earlier period.
The song is also published by D'Urfey, accompanied by two
objectionable parodies.]

IF I live to grow old, for I find I go down,
Let this be my fate in a country town:-
May I have a warm house, with a stone at the gate,
And a cleanly young girl to rub my bald pate;
May I govern my passions with absolute sway,
And grow wiser and better as strength wears away,
Without gout or stone, by a gentle decay.

In a country town, by a murmuring brook,
With the ocean at distance on which I may look;
With a spacious plain, without hedge or stile,
And an easy pad nag to ride out a mile.
May I govern, &c.

With Horace and Plutarch, and one or two more
Of the best wits that lived in the age before;
With a dish of roast mutton, not venison or teal,
And clean, though coarse, linen at every meal.
May I govern, &c.

With a pudding on Sunday, and stout humming liquor,
And remnants of Latin to welcome the vicar;
With a hidden reserve of good Burgundy wine,
To drink the king's health in as oft as I dine.
May I govern, &c.

When the days are grown short, and it freezes and snows,
May I have a coal fire as high as my nose;
A fire (which once stirred up with a prong),
Will keep the room temperate all the night long.
May I govern, &c.

With a courage undaunted may I face my last day;
And when I am dead may the better sort say -
'In the morning when sober, in the evening when mellow,
He's gone, and he leaves not behind him his fellow!'
May I govern, &c.


[RITSON speaks of a Robin Hood's Hill near Gloucester, and of a
'foolish song' about it. Whether this is the song to which he
alludes we cannot determine. We find it in NOTES AND QUERIES,
where it is stated to be printed from a MS. of the latter part of
the last century, and described as a song well known in the
district to which it refers.]

YE bards who extol the gay valleys and glades,
The jessamine bowers, and amorous shades,
Who prospects so rural can boast at your will,
Yet never once mentioned sweet 'Robin Hood's Hill.'

This spot, which of nature displays every smile,
From famed Glo'ster city is distanced two mile,
Of which you a view may obtain at your will,
From the sweet rural summit of 'Robin Hood's Hill.'

Where a clear crystal spring does incessantly flow,
To supply and refresh the fair valley below;
No dog-star's brisk heat e'er diminished the rill
Which sweetly doth prattle on 'Robin Hood's Hill.'

Here, gazing around, you find objects still new,
Of Severn's sweet windings, how pleasing the view,
Whose stream with the fruits of blessed commerce doth fill
The sweet-smelling vale beneath 'Robin Hood's Hill.'

This hill, though so lofty, yet fertile and rare,
Few valleys can with it for herbage compare;
Some far greater bard should his lyre and his quill
Direct to the praise of sweet 'Robin Hood's Hill.'

Here lads and gay lasses in couples resort,
For sweet rural pastime and innocent sport;
Sure pleasures ne'er flowed from gay nature or skill,
Like those that are found on sweet 'Robin Hood's Hill.'

Had I all the riches of matchless Peru,
To revel in splendour as emperors do,
I'd forfeit the whole with a hearty good will,
To dwell in a cottage on 'Robin Hood's Hill.'

Then, poets, record my loved theme in your lays:
First view; - then you'll own that 'tis worthy of praise;
Nay, Envy herself must acknowledge it still,
That no spot's so delightful as 'Robin Hood's Hill.'


[WE cannot trace this popular ditty beyond the reign of James II,
but we believe it to be older. The origin is to be found in an
early French chanson. The present version has been taken down from
the singing of an old Yorkshire yeoman. The third verse we have
never seen in print, but it is always sung in the west of

BEGONE, dull care!
I prithee begone from me;
Begone, dull care!
Thou and I can never agree.
Long while thou hast been tarrying here,
And fain thou wouldst me kill;
But i' faith, dull care,
Thou never shalt have thy will.

Too much care
Will make a young man grey;
Too much care
Will turn an old man to clay.
My wife shall dance, and I shall sing,
So merrily pass the day;
For I hold it is the wisest thing,
To drive dull care away.

Hence, dull care,
I'll none of thy company;
Hence, dull care,
Thou art no pair (68) for me.
We'll hunt the wild boar through the wold,
So merrily pass the day;
And then at night, o'er a cheerful bowl,
We'll drive dull care away.


[THE earliest copy of this playful song is one contained in a MS.
of the reign of James I., preserved amongst the registers of the
Stationers' Company; but the song can be traced back to 1566.]

FULL merrily sings the cuckoo
Upon the beechen tree;
Your wives you well should look to,
If you take advice of me.
Cuckoo! cuckoo! alack the morn,
When of married men
Full nine in ten
Must be content to wear the horn.

Full merrily sings the cuckoo
Upon the oaken tree;
Your wives you well should look to,
If you take advice of me.
Cuckoo! cuckoo! alack the day!
For married men
But now and then,
Can 'scape to bear the horn away.

Full merrily sings the cuckoo
Upon the ashen tree;
Your wives you well should look to,
If you take advice of me.
Cuckoo! cuckoo! alack the noon,
When married men
Must watch the hen,
Or some strange fox will steal her soon.

Full merrily sings the cuckoo
Upon the alder tree;
Your wives you well should look to,
If you take advice of me.
Cuckoo! cuckoo! alack the eve,
When married men
Must bid good den
To such as horns to them do give.

Full merrily sings the cuckoo
Upon the aspen tree;
Your wives you well should look to,
If you take advice of me.
Cuckoo! cuckoo! alack the night,
When married men,
Again and again,
Must hide their horns in their despite.


[A VERSION of this song, not quite so accurate as the following was
published from an old broadside in NOTES AND QUERIES, vol. vii., p.
49, where it is described as a 'very celebrated Gloucestershire
ballad.' But Gloucestershire is not exclusively entitled to the
honour of this genuine old country song, which is well known in
Westmoreland and other counties. 'Jockey' songs constitute a
distinct and numerous class, and belong for the most part to the
middle of the last century, when Jockey and Jenny were formidable
rivals to the Strephons and Chloes of the artificial school of
pastoral poetry. The author of this song, whoever he was, drew
upon real rural life, and not upon its fashionable masquerade. We
have been unable to trace the exact date of this ditty, which still
enjoys in some districts a wide popularity. It is not to be found
in any of several large collections of Ranelagh and Vauxhall songs,
and other anthologies, which we have examined. From the christian
names of the lovers, it might be supposed to be of Scotch or Border
origin; but JOCKEY TO THE FAIR is not confined to the North; indeed
it is much better known, and more frequently sung, in the South and

'TWAS on the morn of sweet May-day,
When nature painted all things gay,
Taught birds to sing, and lambs to play,
And gild the meadows fair;
Young Jockey, early in the dawn,
Arose and tripped it o'er the lawn;
His Sunday clothes the youth put on,
For Jenny had vowed away to run
With Jockey to the fair;
For Jenny had vowed, &c.

The cheerful parish bells had rung,
With eager steps he trudged along,
While flowery garlands round him hung,
Which shepherds use to wear;
He tapped the window; 'Haste, my dear!'
Jenny impatient cried, 'Who's there?'
''Tis I, my love, and no one near;
Step gently down, you've nought to fear,
With Jockey to the fair.'
Step gently down, &c.

'My dad and mam are fast asleep,
My brother's up, and with the sheep;
And will you still your promise keep,
Which I have heard you swear?
And will you ever constant prove?'
'I will, by all the powers above,
And ne'er deceive my charming dove;
Dispel these doubts, and haste, my love,
With Jockey to the fair.'
Dispel, &c.

'Behold, the ring,' the shepherd cried;
'Will Jenny be my charming bride?
Let Cupid be our happy guide,
And Hymen meet us there.'
Then Jockey did his vows renew;
He would be constant, would he true,
His word was pledged; away she flew,
O'er cowslips tipped with balmy dew,
With Jockey to the fair.
O'er cowslips, &c.

In raptures meet the joyful throng;
Their gay companions, blithe and young,
Each join the dance, each raise the song,
To hail the happy pair.
In turns there's none so loud as they,
They bless the kind propitious day,
The smiling morn of blooming May,
When lovely Jenny ran away
With Jockey to the fair.
When lovely, &c.


[MR. BIRKBECK, of Threapland House, Lintondale, in Craven, has
favoured us with the following fragment. The tune is well known in
the North, but all attempts on the part of Mr. Birkbeck to obtain
the remaining verses have been unsuccessful. The song is evidently
of the date of the first rebellion, 1715.]

LONG Preston Peg to proud Preston went,
To see the Scotch rebels it was her intent.
A noble Scotch lord, as he passed by,
On this Yorkshire damsel did soon cast an eye.

He called to his servant, which on him did wait,
'Go down to yon girl who stands in the gate, (69)
That sings with a voice so soft and so sweet,
And in my name do her lovingly greet.'


[THIS curious ditty, which may be confidently assigned to the
seventeenth century, is said to be a translation from the ancient
Cornish tongue. We first heard it in Germany, in the pleasure-
gardens of the Marienberg, on the Moselle. The singers were four
Cornish miners, who were at that time, 1854, employed at some lead
mines near the town of Zell. The leader or 'Captain,' John
Stocker, said that the song was an established favourite with the
lead miners of Cornwall and Devonshire, and was always sung on the
pay-days, and at the wakes; and that his grandfather, who died
thirty years before, at the age of a hundred years, used to sing
the song, and say that it was very old. Stocker promised to make a
copy of it, but there was no opportunity of procuring it before we
left Germany. The following version has been supplied by a
gentleman in Plymouth, who writes:-

I have had a great deal of trouble about THE VALLEY BELOW. It is
not in print. I first met with one person who knew one part, then
with another person who knew another part, but nobody could sing
the whole. At last, chance directed me to an old man at work on
the roads, and he sung and recited it throughout, not exactly,
however, as I send it, for I was obliged to supply a little here
and there, but only where a bad rhyme, or rather none at all, made
it evident what the real rhyme was. I have read it over to a
mining gentleman at Truro, and he says 'It is pretty near the way
we sing it.'

The tune is plaintive and original.]

'MY sweetheart, come along!
Don't you hear the fond song,
The sweet notes of the nightingale flow?
Don't you hear the fond tale
Of the sweet nightingale,
As she sings in those valleys below?
So be not afraid
To walk in the shade,
Nor yet in those valleys below,
Nor yet in those valleys below.

'Pretty Betsy, don't fail,
For I'll carry your pail,
Safe home to your cot as we go;
You shall hear the fond tale
Of the sweet nightingale,
As she sings in those valleys below.'
But she was afraid
To walk in the shade,
To walk in those valleys below,
To walk in those valleys below.

'Pray let me alone,
I have hands of my own;
Along with you I will not go,
To hear the fond tale
Of the sweet nightingale,
As she sings in those valleys below;
For I am afraid
To walk in the shade,
To walk in those valleys below,
To walk in those valleys below.'

'Pray sit yourself down
With me on the ground,
On this bank where sweet primroses grow;
You shall hear the fond tale
Of the sweet nightingale,
As she sings in those valleys below;
So be not afraid
To walk in the shade,
Nor yet in those valleys below,
Nor yet in those valleys below.'

This couple agreed;
They were married with speed,
And soon to the church they did go.
She was no more afraid
For to (70) walk in the shade,
Nor yet in those valleys below:
Nor to hear the fond tale
Of the sweet nightingale,
As she sung in those valleys below,
As she sung in those valleys below.


[THIS traditional ditty, founded upon the old ballad inserted ANTE,
p. 124, is current as a nursery song in the North of England.]

THERE was an old man, and sons he had three, (71)
Wind well, Lion, good hunter.
A friar he being one of the three,
With pleasure he ranged the north country,
For he was a jovial hunter.

As he went to the woods some pastime to see,
Wind well, Lion, good hunter,
He spied a fair lady under a tree,
Sighing and moaning mournfully.
He was a jovial hunter.

'What are you doing, my fair lady!'
Wind well, Lion, good hunter.
'I'm frightened, the wild boar he will kill me,
He has worried my lord, and wounded thirty,
As thou art a jovial hunter.'

Then the friar he put his horn to his mouth,
Wind well, Lion, good hunter.
And he blew a blast, east, west, north, and south,
And the wild boar from his den he came forth
Unto the jovial hunter.


[THE authorship of this song is attributed to Richard Brome - (he
who once 'performed a servant's faithful part' for Ben Jonson) - in
a black-letter copy in the Bagford Collection, where it is entitled
No such chorus, however, appears in the play, which was produced at
the Cock-pit in 1641; and the probability is, as Mr. Chappell
conjectures, that it was only interpolated in the performance. It
is sometimes called THE JOVIAL BEGGAR. The tune has been from time
to time introduced into several ballad operas; and the song, says
Mr. Chappell, who publishes the air in his POPULAR MUSIC, 'is the
prototype of many others, such as A BOWLING WE WILL GO, A FISHING
last named is still popular with those who take delight in hunting,
and the air is now scarcely known by any other title.]

THERE was a jovial beggar,
He had a wooden leg,
Lame from his cradle,
And forced for to beg.
And a begging we will go, we'll go, we'll go;
And a begging we will go!

A bag for his oatmeal,
Another for his salt;
And a pair of crutches,
To show that he can halt.
And a begging, &c..

A bag for his wheat,
Another for his rye;
A little bottle by his side,
To drink when he's a-dry.
And a begging, &c.

Seven years I begged
For my old Master Wild,
He taught me to beg
When I was but a child.
And a begging, &c.

I begged for my master,
And got him store of pelf;
But now, Jove be praised!
I'm begging for myself.
And a begging, &c.

In a hollow tree
I live, and pay no rent;
Providence provides for me,
And I am well content.
And a begging, &c.

Of all the occupations,
A beggar's life's the best;
For whene'er he's weary,
He'll lay him down and rest.
And a begging, &c.

I fear no plots against me,
I live in open cell;
Then who would be a king
When beggars live so well?
And a begging we will go, we'll go, we'll go;
And a begging we will go!


(1) This is the same tune as FORTUNE MY FOE. - See POPULAR MUSIC OF

(2) This word seems to be used here in the sense of the French verb
METTRE, to put, to place.

(3) The stall copies read 'Gamble bold.'

(4) In the Roxburgh Collection is a copy of this ballad, in which
the catastrophe is brought about in a different manner. When the
young lady finds that she is to be drowned, she very leisurely
makes a particular examination of the place of her intended
destruction, and raises an objection to some nettles which are
growing on the banks of the stream; these she requires to be
removed, in the following poetical stanza:-

'Go fetch the sickle, to crop the nettle,
That grows so near the brim;
For fear it should tangle my golden locks,
Or freckle my milk-white skin.'

A request so elegantly made is gallantly complied with by the
treacherous knight, who, while engaged in 'cropping' the nettles,
is pushed into the stream.

(5) A TINKER is still so called in the north of England.

(6) This poor minstrel was born at the village of Rylstone, in
Craven, the scene of Wordsworth's WHITE DOE OF RYLSTONE. King was
always called 'the Skipton Minstrel;' and he merited that name, for
he was not a mere player of jigs and country dances, but a singer
of heroic ballads, carrying his hearers back to the days of
chivalry and royal adventure, when the King of England called up
Cheshire and Lancashire to fight the King of France, and monarchs
sought the greenwood tree, and hob-a-nobbed with tinkers, knighting
these Johns of the Dale as a matter of poetical justice and high
sovereign prerogative. Francis King was a character. His
physiognomy was striking and peculiar; and, although there was
nothing of the rogue in its expression, for an honester fellow
never breathed, he might have sat for Wordsworth's 'Peter Bell.'
He combined in a rare degree the qualities of the mime and the
minstrel, and his old jokes, and older ballads and songs, always
ensured him a hearty welcome. He was lame, in consequence of one
leg being shorter than the other, and his limping gait used to give
occasion to the remark that 'few Kings had had more ups and downs
in the world.' He met his death by drowning on the night of
December 13, 1844. He had been at a 'merry-making' at Gargrave, in
Craven, and it is supposed that, owing to the darkness of the
night, he mistook the road, and walked into the river. As a
musician his talents were creditable; and his name will long
survive in the village records. The minstrel's grave is in the
quiet churchyard of Gargrave. Further particulars of Francis King
may be seen in Dixon's STORIES OF THE CRAVEN DALES, published by
Tasker and Son, of Skipton.

(7) This is the ancient way of spelling the name of Reading. In
Percy's version of BARBARA ALLEN, that ballad commences 'In Scarlet
town,' which, in the common stall copies, is rendered 'In Redding
town.' The former is apparently a pun upon the old orthography -

(8) The sister of Roger.

(9) This gentleman was Mr. Thomas Petty.

(10) We here, and in a subsequent verse, find 'daughter' made to
rhyme with 'after;' but we must not therefore conclude that the
rhyme is of cockney origin. In many parts of England, the word
'daughter' is pronounced 'dafter' by the peasantry, who, upon the
same principle, pronounce 'slaughter' as if it were spelt

(11) Added to complete the sense.

(12) That is, 'said he, the wild boar.'

(13) Scott has strangely misunderstood this line, which he
interprets -

'Many people did she KILL.'

'Fell' is to knock down, and the meaning is that she could 'well'
knock down, or 'fell' people.

(14) Went.

(15) The meaning appears to be that no 'wiseman' or wizard, no
matter from whence his magic, was derived, durst face her. Craven
has always been famed for its wizards, or wisemen, and several of
such impostors may be found there at the present day.

(16) Scott's MS. reads Ralph, but Raphe is the ancient form.

(17) Scott reads 'brim as beare,' which he interprets 'fierce as a
bear.' Whitaker's rendering is correct. Beare is a small hamlet
on the Bay of Morecambe, no great distance, as the crow files, from
the LOCALE of the poem. There is also a Bear-park in the county of
Durham, of which place Bryan might be an inhabitant. UTRUM HORUM,

(18) That is, they were good soldiers when the MUSTERS were - when
the regiments were called up.

(19) Fierce look.

(20) Descended from an ancient race famed for fighting.

(21) Assaulted. They were, although out of danger, terrified by
the attacks of the sow, and their fear was shared by the kiln,
which began to smoke!

(22) Watling-street, the Roman way from Catterick to Bowes.

(23) Lost his colour.

(24) Scott, not understanding this expression, has inserted 'Jesus'
for the initials 'I. H. S.,' and so has given a profane
interpretation to the passage. By a figure of speech the friar is
called an I. H. S., from these letters being conspicuously wrought
on his robes, just as we might call a livery-servant by his
master's motto, because it was stamped on his buttons.

(25) The meaning here is obscure. The verse is not in Whitaker.

(26) Warlock or wizard.

(27) It is probable that by guest is meant an allusion to the
spectre dog of Yorkshire (the BARGUEST), to which the sow is

(28) Hired.

(29) The monastery of Gray Friars at Richmond. - See LELAND, ITIN.,
vol. iii, p. 109.

(30) This appears to have been a cant saying in the reign of
Charles II. It occurs in several novels, jest books and satires of
the time, and was probably as unmeaning as such vulgarisms are in

(31) A cake composed of oatmeal, caraway-seeds, and treacle. 'Ale
and parkin' is a common morning meal in the north of England.

(32) We have heard a Yorkshire yeoman sing a version, which
commenced with this line:-

' It was at the time of a high holiday.'

(33) Bell-ringing was formerly a great amusement of the English,
and the allusions to it are of frequent occurrence. Numerous
payments to bell-ringers are generally to be found in
Churchwarden's accounts of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries.

(34) The subject and burthen of this song are identical with those
of the song which immediately follows, called in some copies THE
CANNOT COME EVERYDAY TO WOO. The Kentish ditty cannot be traced to
so remote a date as the CLOWN'S COURTSHIP; but it probably belongs
to the same period.

(35) The common modern copies read 'St. Leger's Round.'

(36) The common stall copies read 'Pan,' which not only furnishes a
more accurate rhyme to 'Nan,' but is, probably, the true reading.
About the time when this song was written, there appears to have
been some country minstrel or fiddler, who was well known by the
sobriquet of 'Pan.' Frequent allusions to such a personage may be
found in popular ditties of the period, and it is evidently that
individual, and not the heathen deity, who is referred to in the

'Not Pan, the god of the swains,
Could e'er produce such strains.' - See ANTE, p. 142.

(37) A correspondent of NOTES AND QUERIES says that, although there
is some resemblance between Flora and Furry, the latter word is
derived from an old Cornish term, and signifies jubilee or fair.

(38) There is another version of these concluding lines:-

'Down the red lane there lives an old fox,
There does he sit a-mumping his chops;
Catch him, boys, catch him, catch if you can;
'Tis twenty to one if you catch him or Nan.'

(39) A cant term for a fiddle. In its literal sense, it means
trunk, or box-belly.

(40) 'Helicon,' as observed by Sir C. Sharp, is, of course, the
true reading.

(41) In the introduction of the 'prodigal son,' we have a relic
derived from the old mysteries and moralities. Of late years, the
'prodigal son' has been left out, and his place supplied by a

(42) Probably the disease here pointed at is the sweating sickness
of old times.

(43) Robert Kearton, a working miner, and librarian and lecturer at
the Grassington Mechanics' institution, informs us that at
Coniston, in Lancashire, and the neighbourhood, the maskers go
about at the proper season, viz., Easter. Their introductory song
is different to the one given above. He has favoured us with two
verses of the delectable composition; he says, 'I dare say they'll
be quite sufficient!'

'The next that comes on
Is a gentleman's son; -
A gentleman's son he was born;
For mutton and beef,
You may look at his teeth,
He's a laddie for picking a bone!

'The next that comes on
Is a tailor so bold -
He can stitch up a hole in the dark!
There's never a 'prentice
In famed London city
Can find any fault with his WARK!'

(44) For the history of the paschal egg, see a paper by Mr. J. H.
Dixon, in the LOCAL HISTORIAN'S TABLE BOOK (Traditional Division).
Newcastle. 1843.

(45) We suspect that Lord Nelson's name was introduced out of
respect to the late Jack Rider, of Linton (who is himself
introduced into the following verse), an old tar who, for many
years, was one of the 'maskers' in the district from whence our
version was obtained. Jack was 'loblolly boy' on board the
'Victory,' and one of the group that surrounded the dying Hero of
Trafalgar. Amongst his many miscellaneous duties, Jack had to help
the doctor; and while so employed, he once set fire to the ship as
he was engaged investigating, by candlelight, the contents of a
bottle of ether. The fire was soon extinguished, but not without
considerable noise and confusion. Lord Nelson, when the accident
happened, was busy writing his despatches. 'What's all that noise
about?' he demanded. The answer was, 'Loblolly boy's set fire to
an empty bottle, and it has set fire to the doctor's shop!' 'Oh,
that's all, is it?' said Nelson, 'then I wish you and loblolly
would put the fire out without making such a confusion' - and he
went on writing with the greatest coolness, although the accident
might have been attended by the most disastrous consequences, as an
immense quantity of powder was on board, and some of it close to
the scene of the disaster. The third day after the above incident
Nelson was no more, and the poor 'loblolly boy' left the service
minus two fingers. 'Old Jack' used often to relate his 'accident;'
and Captain Carslake, now of Sidmouth, who, at the time was one of
the officers, permits us to add his corroboration of its truth.

(46) In this place, and in the first line of the following verse,
the name of the horse is generally inserted by the singer; and
'Filpail' is often substituted for 'the cow' in a subsequent verse.

(47) The 'swearing-in' is gone through by females as well as the
male sex. See Hone's YEAR-BOOK.

(48) A fig newly gathered from the tree; so called to distinguish
it from a grocer's, or preserved fig.

(49) This line is sometimes sung -

O! I went into the stable, to see what I could see.

(50) Three cabbage-nets, according to some versions.

(51) This is a common phrase in old English songs and ballads. See

(52) See ante, p. 82.

(53) Near.

(54) The high-road through a town or village.

(55) That is Tommy's opinion. In the Yorkshire dialect, when the
possessive case is followed by the relative substantive, it is
customary to omit the S; but if the relative be understood, and not
expressed, the possessive case is formed in the usual manner, as in
a subsequent line of this song:-

'Hee'd a horse, too, 'twor war than ond Tommy's, ye see.'

(56) Alive, quick.

(57) Only.

(58) Famished. The line in which this word occurs exhibits one of
the most striking peculiarities of the Lancashire dialect, which
is, that in words ending in ING, the termination is changed into
INK. EX. GR., for starving, STARVINK, farthing, FARDINK.

(59) In one version this line has been altered, probably by some
printer who had a wholesome fear of the 'Bench of Justices,' into -

'Success to every gentleman
That lives in Lincolnsheer.'

(60) Dr. Whitaker gives a traditional version of part of this song
as follows:-

'The gardener standing by proferred to chuse for me,
The pink, the primrose, and the rose, but I refused the three;
The primrose I forsook because it came too soon,
The violet I o'erlooked, and vowed to wait till June.

In June, the red rose sprung, bat was no flower for me,
I plucked it up, lo! by the stalk, and planted the willow-tree.
The willow I must wear with sorrow twined among,
That all the world may know I falshood loved too long.'

(61) The following account of Billy Bolton may, with propriety, be
inserted here:- It was a lovely September day, and the scene was
Arncliffe, a retired village in Littondale, one of the most
secluded of the Yorkshire dales. While sitting at the open window
of the humble hostelrie, we heard what we, at first, thought was a
RANTER parson, but, on inquiry, were told it was old Billy Bolton
reading to a crowd of villagers. Curious to ascertain what the
minstrel was reading, we joined the crowd, and found the text-book
was a volume of Hume's ENGLAND, which contained the reign of
Elizabeth. Billy read in a clear voice, with proper emphasis, and
correct pronunciation, interlarding his reading with numerous
comments, the nature of some of which may be readily inferred from
the fact that the minstrel belonged to what he called 'the ancient
church.' It was a scene for a painter; the village situate in one
of the deepest parts of the dale, the twilight hour, the attentive
listeners, and the old man, leaning on his knife-grinding machine,
and conveying popular information to a simple peasantry. Bolton is
in the constant habit of so doing, and is really an extraordinary
man, uniting, as he does, the opposite occupations of minstrel,
conjuror, knife-grinder, and schoolmaster. Such a labourer (though
an humble one) in the great cause of human improvement is well
deserving of this brief notice, which it would be unjust to
conclude without stating that whenever the itinerant teacher takes
occasion to speak of his own creed, and contrast it with others, he
does so in a spirit of charity; and he never performs any of his
sleight-of-hand tricks without a few introductory remarks on the
evil of superstition, and the folly of supposing that in the
present age any mortal is endowed with supernatural attainments.

(62) This elastic opening might be adapted to existing
circumstances by a slight alteration:-

The praise of a dairy to tell you I mean,
But all things in order, first God save the Queen.

The common copies print 'God save the Queen,' which of course
destroys the rhyme.

(63) This is the reading of a common stall copy. Chappell reads -

'For at Tottenham-court,'

which is no doubt correct, though inapplicable to a rural assembly
in our days.

(64) Brew, or broo, or broth. Chappell's version reads, 'No state
you can think,' which is apparently a mistake. The reading of the
common copies is to be preferred.

(65) No doubt the original word in these places was SACK, as in
Chappell's copy - but what would a peasant understand by SACK?
Dryden's receipt for a sack posset is as follows:-

'From fair Barbadoes, on the western main,
Fetch sugar half-a-pound: fetch sack, from Spain,
A pint: then fetch, from India's fertile coast,
Nutmeg, the glory of the British toast.'

(66) Corrupted in modern copies into 'we'll range and we'll rove.'
The reading in the text is the old reading. The phrase occurs in
several old songs.

(67) We should, probably, read 'he.'

(68) Peer - equal.

(69) The road or street.

(70) This is the only instance of this peculiar form in the present
version. The miners in the Marienberg invariably said 'for to'
wherever the preposition 'to' occurred before a verb.

(71) Three is a favourite number in the nursery rhymes. The
following is one of numerous examples:-

There was an old woman had three sons,
Jerry and James and John:
Jerry was hung, James was drowned,
John was lost and never was found;
And there was an end of her three sons,
Jerry, and James, and John!

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